Like anyone, I have a very bad habit of thinking negatively about myself and my life in general. It’s one of those things where you don’t realise you’re doing it until it’s too late, and those bad thoughts have already set root in your mind.
These thoughts tend to linger and it’s difficult to stop thinking about them. And trying to resist them could potentially reinforce that thought pattern to the point where it makes it worse.
Like anything, the more you try to not think about something, the more you actually linger on it. At least it seems that way for me.
So how do we change this negative pattern? It’s not easy, but here are a few things to try.
Change your body language
Got a frown permanently etched on your face? Are you slouching or just shuffling along as you walk down the street? Maybe these are signs you’ve got some negativity bouncing around that noggin of yours.
How you present yourself not only projects a more positive outlook to others, but it can also improve your confidence and overall emotional state.
And the more you project that positivity out into the world, the more likely you’ll receive it back from others and the better you’ll feel about yourself.
Talk it out
Let’s be honest – the more you hold things in, the worse you’ll end up feeling about it. However if you put into words what you’re feeling, you’re more likely to be able to work through your thoughts and feelings to find a possible resolution for what’s going on at that moment.
Allow yourself to put things into perspective through an honest and open discussion with someone you can talk to. Their point of view may help you look at things in a different light and come at whatever is bothering your from a different angle.
Calm your mind
When your brain is running at a million miles a minute, it makes it extremely difficult to keep up and even harder to control the negative thoughts in your head.
So slow it down before tackling the issues at hand. Empty your mind of the negativity, meditate if necessary, and reboot your thoughts to allow in the positivity that will move you past where you are at that moment.
Change the tone of your thoughts
It may sound simplistic, but by wording things in a more positive manner, it can help change your perspective. Your point of view of things around you is bound to impact how you react to things, so try a positive spin instead.
Instead of telling yourself ‘Life is shit right now’, try instead ‘I’m feeling challenged at the moment, but am working towards a solution’. It’s basically the same thing, but sometimes that shift in tone can do wonders for your perspective.
When you’re feeling those negative thoughts come on, why not spend some time doing something creative? You don’t have to be creating a masterpiece landscape or writing that epic novel, but just the act of being creative in some way can be very cathartic and help you move past the negativity.
For instance, if you’re into writing (like on a blog perhaps lol), get the words out on paper and write your way through the negativity. It’ll help you work through whatever you’re thinking while giving you a bit of self-therapy to lift up your mood.
It basically helps clear the cobweb-like negative thoughts from your head.
Take a walk
Negative thinking isn’t just about what’s going on in your head, but it can also be due to the environment around you. For instance, if you’re unhappy at home but you never leave the house, you’ll never be able to get away from the negativity itself.
Get your butt off the couch and go for a walk. Or go to a park to relax amongst nature. Or go check out a neighbourhood you’ve never been to before. Whatever works for you to help clear your head and get yourself away from the negative spiral you’d surrounded yourself with.
And hopefully it’ll allow you to gain some perspective on things so when you do go home you’ll do so with a more positive outlook on things.
Be grateful for what you have in life
Sometimes it’s too easy to focus on what you don’t have instead of what you do have. It’s way to easy to lose perspective on your life and focus on the negativity.
Easier said than done, you need to retrain your brain and thoughts to look at the good things going on around you instead of the bad. So why not take a few moments to list off those things you’re grateful for in your life?
Sometimes the best things happening to us are right in front of our faces and we still fail to see them.
So open up your eyes and see the positivity around you and enjoy it.